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Easy Shepherd’s Pie

This Easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe is made with ground beef, brown gravy, and frozen vegetables in less than 30 minutes on the stove top. Broil in the oven for just 5 minutes and dinner is served! Make it with my homemade mashed potato recipe, or use up leftover mashed potatoes! 

Be sure to try my Homemade Sloppy Joes recipe next!

A large spoon scooping Shepherds Pie from a casserole dish.

Easy Shepherd’s Pie

When it comes to comfort food, Shepherd’s Pie is a classic.

The best part about this recipe is that there is no need to let it simmer extensively on the stove top like most Shepherd’s Pie recipes. Even 30 minutes of simmering can be a bit much during a busy weeknight.

Most recipes also call for up to 2 lbs of ground beef, which is a bit much if you have a family of four. This one conveniently calls for just 1 lb. of ground beef, frozen vegetables, and some pantry-friendly items to add amazing flavor to the beef.

Finally, there is no need to bake this in the oven. (Again, most recipes have you do this for another 30 minutes.) The filling and mashed potatoes are warm already, just broil at 550° for about 5 minutes to brown the top and you’r ready to eat!

Shepherd’s Pie vs. Cottage Pie

When Shepherd’s Pie first originated, it was made with lamb. It has since evolved, especially in America, to include a variety of red meats (particularly ground beef in the US as cooking with lamb is far less common).

Per Wikipedia: “Shepherd’s pie, cottage pie, or hachis Parmentier is a ground meat pie with a crust or topping of mashed potato of English origin. The recipe has many variations, but the defining ingredients are ground red meat cooked in a gravy or sauce with onions, and topped with a layer of mashed potato before it is baked”

The Broil Method

To keep your filling nice and juicy and the potatoes super creamy, simply broil the potatoes for about 5 minutes prior to serving in order to achieve the classic browned crust we all know and love.

A casserole dish with sheperds pie filling being topped with mashed potatoesA dish with uncooked shepherds pie next to a dish of broiled sheperds pie

Using Store-Bought or Instant Potatoes

If you’re not up for making homemade mashed potatoes, 3 cups of store bought or instant mashed potatoes may be used for an easy shortcut!

Make-Ahead Method

1-2 Days Ahead: Store in Refrigerator

  • When ready to serve, cover and bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the cover and broil at 550° for about 5 minutes.

1-2 Months Ahead: Store in Freezer

  • Let it cool completely and store in an airtight container.
  • When ready to serve, let it thaw overnight, then cover and bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and broil.
  • OR, cover and bake the frozen pie at 350° oven for 1 hour. Remove the cover and broil.

Storing Leftovers

  • Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 350° oven or in the microwave.
  • Leftovers also make a great freezer food.

A plate with a slice of easy shepherds pie with ground beef with a fork in the background.

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A spoon scooping up ground beef filling out of a dish of Sheperd's Pie

Easy Shepherd's Pie

4.94 from 48 ratings
This Easy Sheperd's Pie recipe has a delicious ground beef filling with gravy and frozen vegetables. Prepare it on the Stove Top in less than 30 minutes, then broil for 5. This is a perfect shortcut dinner for busy weeknights and a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes.


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 rib celery, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef, I used 85% lean
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup brown gravy
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes


Prepare the Potatoes.

  • My homemade mashed potato recipe is perfect for this recipe, you’ll make a half batch to end up with 3 cups. While the potatoes boil, prepare the filling.

Prepare the Filling

  • Preheat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and celery. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Increase heat to high. Add the ground beef. Cook and crumbled until cooked through. Drain all excess grease.
  • Reduce heat to medium-high. Sprinkle in the flour and toss to coat. Add the Tomato Paste and thyme. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Deglaze the pan with the Chicken broth. Use a silicone spatula to scrape up any brown bits from the pan, this adds flavor to the filling.
  • Add HALF of the brown gravy. Stir in the vegetables until heated through.
  • Season with salt/pepper and add more gravy if desired. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Remove from heat.


  • Transfer to a lightly greased 9-inch pie pan or 7 x 11 casserole dish. Carefully spread warm mashed potatoes on top.
  • Use a fork to “rake” lines into the mashed potatoes.


  • Set the oven rack about 5 inches away from the broiler. Set to a high broil, 550 degrees.
  • Broil for about 5 minutes watch it after 2 minutes, it will go from perfectly browned to burned quickly.
  • Remove from heat and serve.


PRO TIP: Add a layer of cheddar cheese below the mashed potatoes for melty, cheesy deliciousness!

If you prefer to double this recipe, bake in a 9 x 13 casserole dish or use a wide (12-inch), oven safe skillet on the stove and transfer to the oven.

Using Store-Bought or Instant Potatoes
If you're not up for making homemade mashed potatoes, 3 cups of store bough or instant mashed potatoes may be used for an easy shortcut!



Calories: 528kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 81mg, Sodium: 451mg, Potassium: 1005mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 2371IU, Vitamin C: 47mg, Calcium: 54mg, Iron: 4mg
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121 comments on “Easy Shepherd’s Pie”

  1. I don’t normally leave reviews, despite reading/relying on them, BUT that 3 star review because they don’t like thyme… geeze… I felt the need to counteract that. I made this tonight, and it was delicious! Thyme and all! 

    • Awwwww, Sarah, thank you so much! I really appreciate you taking the time to leave this review, you are the best and I’m so glad that you enjoyed the recipe!! 🙂 Thank youuuu! -Stephanie ❤️❤️❤️

  2. The family loves this recipe. It’s simple and great on a day when you don’t have much time to worry about what to make for dinner

  3. I don’t care what Wikipedia says, shepherds do not herd cows
    They herd sheep
    Ground beef makes it cottage pie.

  4. Loved it, easy to make and somewhat quick.

  5. Think I’ll leave the thyme out next time, guess I’m not a fan

  6. Loved this recipe – definitely a family pleaser!!  I made it with the homemade brown gravy (which by the way is fabulous! Waaaay better than store bought) and it was out of this world.  ❤️  

    • I’m so happy to hear you liked this Jenny! Especially with the homemade brown gravy. I agree, so much better than store bought! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!❤️

  7. Grear recipe! I used ground turkey and I cheated a bit with a packaged gravy. Also sprinkled a bit of shredded mozzarella before placing mashed potatoes on top. Was really delicious!

  8. Wonderful. Great savory taste and easy to make

  9. I made this for the first time tonight and it turned out pretty good! I used instant potatoes and added a couple more ingredients to the sauce and it’s delicious! For my first time making it I’m pretty darn proud and my honey likes it👍🏽🥰👏🏽👏🏽

    • Great Job Tamara! Sounds like you pulled of a great meal! First time making a recipe can always be a bit of a learning process. You’ll have it mastered in no time! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!

  10. can you make this with tater tots, I have a bag I don’t know what to do with them

    • Absolutely! You can either bake the tater tots on a baking sheet separately, and then add them to the top of the prepared ground beef filing once they’re done, or place frozen tots on top of the prepare filling and bake it at 425 for 20 minutes or so, until the tots are golden brown! 🙂

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